What are the Rodriguez differences?
When a manufacturer builds your new Rohloff bike, they have a few choices to make when designing the frame. These choices will have long lasting affects on key areas of your bike. Shift cable routing and ease of wheel removal will set a tone for the relationship with your bike, while changes will also affect the look of your new Rodriguez.
How to route the shift cables and how to tension the chain are both part of the Rodriguez Difference. These can be planned out and implemented well, or they can be done hastily.
First up: Shift cable routing
Most manufacturers opt for the easy way out. The Rohloff shift box is kind of a 'slap it on and go' way to route the shift cables. It saves a lot of time and design work for your builder, but will cost you precious minutes (or hours) down the road. To the left is a picture of a bike using the Rohloff shift box.
Important note: if your bike uses the shift box, it's important to leave the shifter alone while your wheel is out of the bike. If the shifter is bumped or moved while not connected to the wheel, it will be very time consuming trying to line your gears back up.
At Rodriguez Bicycles, we go the extra mile and build custom braze-ons for routing the cables using cute little cable splitters. These make for a cleaner look, as well as no re-adjustment necessary for your gears when you re-install your rear wheel. To the left is a picture of a Rodriguez Rohloff rear hub set-up.
Disc Brake Customers:
You will see on our site some Rodriguez bikes that use the above 'shift box' method instead of our cleaner style, this is because of the disc brake. Unfortunately, when we build a Rodriguez Rohloff bicycle with disc brakes, the shift box is required. :-(
Second: Chain tensioning
To the left you can see a picture of an idler, the least expensive chain tensioner. An idler is basically a non-functioning rear derailleur and makes removing the Rohloff wheel as 'convenient' as removing the rear wheel of a 10-speed style bike. This option is usually used for retrofitting road bikes to use Rohloff, although some manufacturers use idlers on custom made Rohloff bikes.
Another inexpensive way to make a bike that needs chain adjustment is using long slotted dropouts. These can be found on the single speed bike you rode as a child, or track bikes made today. To the right is a Rohloff hub using these dropouts for chain tension. This option makes more work for you, and less work for your frame builder.
The Rodriguez Difference
At Rodriguez, we use standard rear dropouts, and use our patented Bushnell Eccentric bottom bracket to adjust the chain tension from the bottom bracket like a tandem. The Bushnell eccentric is a story in and of itself, but that's for you to read further. Other manufacturers may use an eccentric, but not all of them use the Bushnell.
To read more about the Rohloff hub, click here.
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